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Computer Privacy Online

Updated on December 8, 2009

Computer Privacy Online

We all need a little down time, a little privacy. The world closes in. The boss expects us to be on time every day. The spouse wants to know where we are, like, every minute of the day. Your computer has the same wants and needs, sort of. Follow these simple steps for Computer Privacy.

Leave the cover on

Computer privacy begins with basic consideration for your computer's self-respect. Leave the cover on. Think of the cover as skin, but instead of sweat glands and fingernails it has exhaust vents and little rubber feet on the bottom. If you rip off the skin the thing will catch a cold. Well, not really. That's an urban myth told by IT consultants to customers in order to sell more computer cases.

Seriously, taking the cover off will jeopardize your computer's privacy because any ne'r do well can wander by and take a peek inside. Do you want the world to know that you purchased off-brand ram chips? Excessive dust will accumulate on the motherboard, causing excessive heat to accumulate in sensitive electronic components. The office cat might be tempted to lick the CPU cooling fan. That scenario would probably end with a trip to the Cat Chiropractor.

Hot tip: if your computer must go skinless, put the empty cover next to the naked tower. Now it looks like you have 2 computers. Perhaps the cat will lick the wrong one.

Turn it off

Turn it off when you're done with it. Not only will this make Al Gore smile, it will save you precious 10ths of cents each day as you use less electricity. When you go to bed, sing a lullaby to your CPU as you power it off. Unless your hard drive harbors greedy computer viruses that insist on turning your system into a mail server as you sleep, you won't be hurting anything. If you must leave it on (perhaps it provides a soothing night light), adjust your operating system such that the hard drive spins down after a few minutes of inactivity. A milliwatt here and there will add up!

Feed it anti-virus software regularly

Your computer wants to feel safe from nasty Internet worms, email attachments, spyware, and Tiger Woods videos. Be sure to download every anti-virus program you can possibly find. Install them all and let them fight it out. The last program left standing is obviously superior. Periodically reinstall all the loser programs just to keep the code on it's digital toes. The more CPU cycles consumed by anti-virus programs, the less processing time available for viruses. We can defeat the virus software industry by starving their programs. Virus programmers aren't known for their ability to optimize code; it's hard enough to simply crank out code that works at all while living in your Mom's basement. We can put the burden on their skinny pale shoulders.

Create multiple free email addresses

Your computer's privacy can only be increased if you send email from 42 different accounts. Don't let anyone get a handle on you; change your email address at least once a week. Email accounts are free from Yahoo, Google, HotMail, and hundreds of obscure email start-up companies looking to break in to the big leagues. Evidently there's money to be made doling out free email addresses. Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley constantly troll sleazy bars in San Jose looking for the next Great Email Entrepreneur, sitting in a darkened corner booth banging out web sites and account name generator algorithms.

Unplug from the WWW

Disconnect your computer from the Internet when you don't need to be online. When you must click on a link, reach around and reconnect the Ethernet cable. Unplug it again after the page downloads. The only truly private computer is an offline computer. If you want to watch a video, turn on MTV. Your television is lonely anyway.

Get a smaller monitor

Good grief, are you trying to signal passing aircraft? Who needs a screen that big? Your computer feels completely exposed when everyone in the tri-county area can read your email. True computer privacy can only be achieved through a darling little 13" display. Remember, that would seem huge if it was hooked to your Blackberry. Search eBay under 'antiques'.


Only a few simple steps are necessary to ensure computer privacy. Your computer works hard for you; show your gratitude once in a while.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Mmmmm. K:

      wow. Thanks for stopping by.

      I don't even remember writing this.

    • profile image

      Mmmmm. K 6 years ago

      I have to disagree with some of the stuff on here, like multiple email and installing As Many as you can with the anti virus. Lol... How much time are you planning on wasting? Maintaining and making all those new email addresses, and running even 1 anti virus will definitely slow your computer down. Simply put stay away from porn sites, and anything that tells you through a web page popup that you are infected. Don't believe them they are scams to get you to download and buy their software. Those companies should be wiped off the earth, scum.

      Watch out for phishing sites, and do not trust any email who you don't know where it came from..

      This article is kinda noob as far as computer security goes. Few valid points but overall this is a bs article. If your worried about getting infected, then get a Mac. If you don't like Apples walled garden, then go PC, but watch how your browsing. Don't download pirate software. You can get by not using antivirus on PC but you really got to watch how you surf and download.

      If you really want to be safe, then dont go online at all. If you can stand all the crap in Linux, then that might be a safer alternative. But be warned it sucks getting drivers and devices to work.

      Apart from all of that, there is a lot I left out, but remember,

      If you are online, then big brother is definately watching you one way or the other. The patriot act is real in America. Look it up. And definitely be careful what you type, else you might get unexpected visitors.

      Good Luck!

    • Haunty profile image

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      Since I started using Linux in place of Win, I've been feeling much more on the safe side. When I was using Win I had to do a complete reinstall every two months because of viruses and especially spyware. Now it's been two years of Linux without a single reinstall or system error. Well, I'm just so much happier and have more free time on my hands. I'm not trying to promote it at all. It's everyone's personal choice what he or she uses. Thanks nicomp! :)

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 8 years ago

      Lots of good information and advice here, thanks.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Tom Whitworth: I agree, if you have good power. Unless the computer is connected to a quality UPS (not just a cheapie surge protector), then it's probably safer to turn it off.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      Good privacy advice on using a computer. However the advice of turning the the computer off isn't the best thing for the life of the computer. The transients generated in solid state devices by turning off and on cause a multitude of solid state device failures. More so than leaving them on.8D